In my new song, "Election Time," I wrote, "Election time around the corner what you gonna fight for." How about fighting for candidates and politicians to tell us where their money is coming from, so we know who's paying their bills? How about fighting for getting our voices heard? How about fighting for politicians who want to keep moving this country forward, not back, in the midst of the worst recession we've seen in most of our lifetimes?
It's hard to understand, living in this country, just how lucky U.S. citizens are to be able to vote, to have the right and the privilege of making such important choices for their own future, the future of their families and the future of their nation. My brothers and sisters in Haiti are living and dying in poverty, the government there so wrapped up in funneling money and influence to the rich and the elite that even with decades of financial aid from all over the planet, those in power can't do right by the people who need them.
Think of the Haitians now, suffering beyond imagination since the January earthquake, and now falling by the hundreds from a cholera epidemic (and pray, as I do everyday, that the outbreak has been brought under control). So, truly, in the United States, voting is the least everyone 18 and older can do to express gratitude for all this country affords them. I'm talking to everyone qualified to vote here: You all need to get yourselves registered and need to get to the polls in just a few days, on Nov. 2. Voting is a privilege -- and it's also the duty of every U.S. citizen who loves this country.
I know from all my work in Haiti that the youth of a nation can make a real difference, and I know that they can here in my adopted country, too. And in fact, they have -- as recently as two years ago. The election of 2008 was a shining moment for the youth of this great land. They spoke louder, and with more care for their fellow citizens, than they have since the Civil Rights era. They rallied around Barack Obama, a charismatic, intelligent leader who captured the imaginations of so many and embodied a youthful hope and desire to take this country down a better path. In that election, no one could call the youth apathetic -- throw that stereotype out the door
The Nov. 2 midterm elections are another chance for the youth of America to speak and be heard. Don't forget that Obama inherited a failed administration. The path to recovery is a long and hard one, especially considering where we were when we started this one. None of us could have expected President Obama to turn the country around in two years, could we? Or even four -- I've always thought he'll need eight years to even remotely make a dent in all the areas that need improving, not to mention some that need complete repair.
And I never figured the U.S. people were in this for the short haul -- everyone who voted for change and hope two years ago needs to show that they're all in this for the long haul. Everyone needs to get out and vote again and make sure to support candidates who are looking to the future, not ones who want to turn back the clock, saying crazy things about eliminating social security, or changing parts of the Civil Rights Act or forcing victims of rape to see the pregnancy to term.
In "Election Time" (which you can hear on a new website, TheyWinULose), I say "Health care, welfare, seems like nobody cares." I am asking you all to prove me wrong on that. Show the world you care enough to fight the good fight. And this is the easiest fight you'll ever be asked to fight; all you have to do is vote -- just vote, man. Be a patriot at the polls. Be a shining example for the citizens of the world who don't have it as good as you do. That is fighting the good fight.